As a transgender person, I began speaking publicly on gender identity issues in B.C. after I witnessed the vicious attacks launched against School Trustee Barry Neufeld in Chilliwack. Neufeld spoke out against teaching gender ideology in schools claiming it constituted a form of "child abuse," and he was quite quickly demonized in the press. The attacks on Neufeld are quite similar to attacks launched against Ontario Premier Doug Ford when he promised to repeal and replace their controversial sex-ed program, which featured the same kind of dangerous gender ideology. Ford, initially and sensibly, suggested that parents should have the primary say in what their kids are taught in this regard. Unfortunately the penalty for advocating common sense and parental rights today—all across our once great nation—is a campaign of vicious slander. Ford was harassed so much that he is now back-peddling on his promise to repeal the program in its entirety. When former Ontario PC Candidate Tanya Granic Allen tabled a resolution recently to once again debate the issue, she, predictably, was greeted with the same kind of irrationally fuelled viciousness. The problem with the attacks on Neufeld, Ford, and Allen is that they all ignore the very real fact that the teaching of gender ideology could easily and fairly be regarded as extremely dangerous to our most vulnerable children. One of the focuses of my public talks is the fact that transgender children are far more prone to suffering from mental health issues, and I gave a presentation on this subject to the School Board in Abbotsford recently. The almost unknown debate around this undeniable fact has not centred on if it is true or not, but rather a kind of mental health “chicken or the egg” debate. Those promoting gender ideology in our schools will say that the extensive mental health problems in the transgender community are a result of "transphobia" and “bigotry.” This argument, however, breaks down when autism is brought into the debate. In the general population, 1.7% of children present on the autism spectrum. If autism (and other compulsive conditions) was not a causative factor, then we would expect to see autism rates in the transgender community at about the same level. Unfortunately, that is far from reality. Depending on what study you look at, autism among transgender kids ranges between 8% up to as high as 55%. Though I was never tested, I had many autistic traits as a child. I was, at the very least, a seriously psychologically and emotionally damaged boy when I first began experimenting with cross-gender expression. I was a foster child that went through six different homes and was subjected to enormous bullying. I became withdrawn, introverted, and prone to obsessing on things. At about nine years of age, I began fixating on the gender presentation of an older, very pretty and popular foster sister. But despite what some activists today might say, I was not a girl trapped in a boy's body; I was a troubled, rejected, psychologically damaged child that was desperately looking for a new identity. I was not, however, reinforced or encouraged in my obsessions either at home or in the school. I was actively discouraged, which I am thankful for because I believe it ultimately kept me whole, healthy, and maybe even alive. As an adult, I learned to balance a recognition of my biological sex with the complex forces that drove my gender expression. All of this information should give the reader at least a justifiable hint as to why Barry Neufeld called gender ideology "child abuse," why Premier Doug Ford called it “liberal ideology,” and why Tanya Granic Allen said, "Gender identity theory is unscientific and ... parents are concerned about what their children are being taught." Parents should be concerned about what their kids are being taught in this regard because it is unscientific, and parents of children with psychological issues should be even more concerned because it is dangerous. By teaching children that are prone to obsessions confusing and yet "magical" ideas regarding gender, you could create an artificial obsession in these kids, which in most cases leads to them taking physically devastating puberty blockers and synthetic hormones, and later in their teens even severing body parts. Obsession is the only reasonable explanation for the astonishing rates of autism in transgender children. The debate over teaching gender ideology in schools should thus not be focused so much on the human rights of transgender people, which already exist and are protected; the debate should be about teaching biologically absurd fairy tales to children in schools, especially to children with autism and other psychologically troubled youths that could be led Pied Piper style down a destructive path towards a manufactured and medically sealed identity with irreversible side-effects. Because I am transgender I know all of the social pressures involved and thus I am of the opinion that gender transition is something only adults should do, because kids are not emotionally or psychologically developed enough to understand and deal with all of the enormous pressures and implications of such a life-altering decision. Romanticizing this identity to vulnerable children, including those with autism, should be regarded as a form of gross educational malpractice.
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